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By: Plainswalker83, Marcus Brunstetter
Jun 17 2015 12:00pm
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Though my memory is not the greatest, never before do I recall a Standard set having such a huge impact on Modern. The Khans block has been adding great cards to both Modern and Legacy but it is in Modern that Khans is really shining. Let's start with the obvious!


                                       Polluted Delta Flooded Strand Windswept Heath

                                                                  Wooded Foothills Bloodstained Mire

It is pretty clear the the fetches made the biggest splash in Modern making mana bases even better. That would not be too exciting if that was all the land of time travel and dragons brought us. The first gift that Modern received was Delve. We all know of the 2 powerful blue cards to hit Modern and then quickly be removed but that is old news and not what I wanted to talk about. I want to talk about these 2 bad boys.

                                                                Tasigur, The Golden Fang Gurmag Angler

I know that they aren't exactly new either but they are showing up in Tier 1 decks pretty consistently now. Tasigur, the Golden Fang is in Abzan, Jund, and Grixis. It is a powerful "Tarmogoyf" and a great source of card advantage. Gurmag Angler is usually bigger than most other creatures and can bash in with no fear or can be a brick wall on defense.

However, there is another card that has shown up and made certain archetypes like Jund and Grixis move back up to Tier 1. That card is Kolaghan's Command.

I think most were blinded when the commands were spoiled. I know Atarka's Command was instantly thought of as the better Skullcrack but the other commands seemed to be quickly dismissed. Here we are a few months later though and Kolaghan's Command is rising in popularity and price. There are a few fits for the card like Grixis Twin or Grixis Delver.  The aforementioned Jund also has a place for it, but my favorite place for it comes from Patrick Chapin's Grand Prix list.

I think Grixis is the perfect shell for both Tasigur and the Command. Your graveyard fills up very quickly and having Snapcaster Mage just makes everything even better. Chapin has always been a fan of Grixis and it is no wonder he was able to do so well at the GP. For being a control deck the mana count is a bit low but when you can cast 4/5's and 5/5's for 1 or 2 mana and have a ton of 1 mana cantrips, it seems to be about right.  I love how this deck can run the full 4 Cryptic Commands and Terminates and also runs the miser's Dispel in the main. This deck just has a ton of answers and a lot of value. Though Jund is also a great fit for (Kologhan's Command) I strongly feel that a Grixis shell is where you want to be. (Besides who wants to buy a set of Tarmogoyfs and Liliana of the Veils)?

Another gift that Khans block has given us is the card Collected Company. When I first saw this card printed I was playing a ton of zoo and thought that would be the natural fit for the card. However I could not even fathom what kinds of decks would be spawned because of it. Let's look at the winning list from GP Charlotte.

The plan is simple: Play a bunch of elves. make a ton of mana using Nykthos, Shrine to Nyx, and use Chord of Calling or Collected Company to get Ezuri, Renegade Leader for the kill. This deck is synergy at its finest and has some great answers for troublesome matchups. Though this deck was the winner of the GP it is not the only Collected Company deck that caught my eye. 

Abzan Company was another popular choice on the weekend.  It is closer to a Birthing Podless Pod deck. To aid Melira, Sylvok Outcast, Anafenza, Kin-Tree Spirit joined the team.  Anafenze gives the deck another way to give counters to Kitchen Finks and Murderous Redcap. However that is still not the Company deck that I really liked. Remember how I mentioned I thought the natural fit for Company was in Naya? Well apparently I was not the only one.

Paul Rietzl piloted this list to 10th place and I watched him play very skilfully to beat Jund on one of his feature matches. Collected Company is just played for the value of it and as a way to get instant speed threats in play. Otherwise it is just a good ol' Naya beat you up deck. It has a very small toolkit for Knight of the Reliquary. The sideboard is where things really heat up. There are plenty of hatebear type creatures that can really make things miserable for an opponent. I also enjoy the 1 copy of Bonfire of the Damned. It is just great for some extra burn or if you face decks with a ton of x/1s like Abzan company or Elves. Overall I think this type of deck can really be well positioned in the coming months.

So that is some of the fancy stuff to come out of recent Modern events and that is not even all of the Standard legal cards that have made a splash into the non-rotating format. There are control decks using Anticipate, Elspeth, Sun's Champion and even Dragonlord Ojutai. Some Jund decks are using Unravel the Aether just as a way to get rid of another Standard card in Keranos, God of Storms. I am sure I am even missing some but you can't just pick some cool cards that you like and play that deck can you?

I am going to do my best to make suggestions on what to play in Modern based off of what you enjoy playing in Standard. This will not be perfect and perhaps some of you have various skill sets and can play almost any deck. It is important to remember that most times you will play best with something you understand and know very well.

Let's say you are an Atarka Red or Abzan Aggro player. Chances are you know your combat math and understand the balance of removing creatures and going to the dome of your opponent. You also know when you need to attack and go all out or when to leave back that 1 blocker that could keep you alive on the back swing. If you transfer that knowledge to Modern than maybe you would choose Burn, Affinity, or maybe even that Naya Company deck that I posted above.

Aggro not your thing? Perhaps your enjoy the good stuff midrange style of decks like Abzan or Mardu. Well you are in luck! In Modern Abzan still has plenty of good cards to work with and you can grind out wins like no other. Jund is another deck that does a similar thing. You play various good cards and use them to disrupt your opponents and win the game either through attrition or aggression. Some even play a straight Black Green deck with powerful creatures and spells to beat down your opponent. Out of those styles I would play Jund because I think Red is too powerful to not play in Modern.

Perhaps you are a dedicated Esper Dragons or UB control player and want to take your denial and permission to a new level in Modern. Well you can play something like the Grixis Deck that I posted by Chapin. Maybe you want to stay in 2 color so you don't have to buy as many shocks or fetches. I have a UW list that I have been playing in both paper and online to decent enough success. You can find various lists online but I would say just find something that suits you. Some control decks can be aggressive, like splashing red for Lightning Bolt and Ajani Vengeant. Some can be very grindy, using black for discard spells and the former standard all-star Lingering Souls

Are you one of the last combo players trying to make it work in Standard? Whether it is through Jeskai Ascendancy or whatever else is floating around these days. I have more good news! There is a ton of combo available in Modern. Amulet Bloom and Tron are examples that have combos in them but can play fair (well sorta) as well. Other combo decks include the Abzan Company deck, Storm, Ad Nauseam, and Goryo's Vengeance. There is much more to be found if you look deep enough and you will be surprised with what you find.

I will be back with more Standard next week but I had to take a small break and cover some of these great Modern happenings. If you are interested in playing Modern and you don't know where to start feel free to shoot me a message. There are also other very talented writers on here that specialize in Modern, one being Olaw who actually got me interested in this site about a year ago. Once again thank you and see you next time!